[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Syria and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Syria Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week`s roundup to email@example.com by Monday night of every week.]
Regional and International Perspectives
Islamist Groups Declare Opposition to National Coalition and US Strategy [updated] Aron Lund weighs in on the importance of this event and the groups behind the announcement.
The US Strategy in Syria is Unravelling An article that deforms Aron Lund’s Syria Comment post by omitting his “‘what if’ and caution”, in its discussion of the newly created “Islamic alliance” rejecting the SNC as a given.
Islamists Assemble Michael Weiss writes about the emergence of the so-called Islamic coalition to suggest that “as the United States fiddles with Russia and Iran, Western influence in Syria continues to disappear as quickly as the irreconcilable sub-conflicts of the war multiply.”
Une Alliance Economique Heteroclite Another take on the announcement of the “Islamic Alliance” by Romain Caillet
FULL TRANSCRIPT: Obama’s Speech at the UN General Assembly
Kissinger saw the benefits of Syrian intervention in Lebanon Kareem Shaheen claims that “a new set of declassified documents on the run-up to the Syrian intervention in Lebanon’s Civil War sheds light on American diplomacy during the crisis, including contacts with late President Hafez Assad’s regime and U.S. hopes that a Syrian intervention would weaken Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organization.”
From Reagan to Obama: Secrecy and Covert Operations in the Fight against “Terrorism” Remi Brulin says past debates over what counts as terrorism “bear striking similarities to contemporary debates on the Obama administration’s policies of “targeted killings” or the provision of aid to the Syrian rebels.”
Excerpts of Ahmad Jarba’s Speech at the Extended Friends of Syria Meeting in the United Nations
Only God and America Malik al-Abdeh argues that “in many ways, the problem is that the rise of a more pragmatic view of Western power in the Arab world has not been accompanied by a set of ideas that legitimizes anything beyond a short-term exchange of interests.”
Berlin: Proposal for the creation of a »Kurdish region« in Syria “The paper provides concrete proposals as to how the Syrian Kurds can come to enjoy complete and equal civil rights and how their right to self-determination can be respected without calling the unity of Syria or its territorial integrity into question.”
The Swedish Foreign Fighter Contingent in Syria Per Gudmundson provides a socio-economic background of some Swedish foreign fighters, suggesting among other things that “men who traveled from Sweden to fight in Syria are more or less “homegrown” in the sense that they attended the Swedish school system and, if not born in Sweden, have lived there since childhood.“
Officials Claim Tunisian Women are Waging a `Sexual Jihad` in Syria, But What`s the Real Story? Sana Saeed, on a story that keeps resurfacing every few months, writes “despite the story having gained traction of the viral variety, and despite the concerns and facts expressed by Tunisian officials, there seems to be actually very little evidence to suggest that the so-called sexual Jihad is actually a thing (and Jihad al-Nikkah is not a thing in Islamic jurisprudence).”
Russia ‘Ready to Guard’ Syria Chemical Sites An update translated by the Syrian Observer from Al Jazeera Arabic.
Breaking Point-The Crisis of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon Omar Dahi writes: “To give a sense of scale, it is estimated that there are 300,000 Syrian children between 5 and 17 years of age in Lebanon today[...]but only about 30,000 of these children are in fact receiving an education. Some Syrians are returning home, braving the war just to be able to enroll themselves or their children in school or university.”
Syrian Students in Lebanon: Learning Under a Tent An account by Faten Elhajj and Nicolas Abu Rjeili.
Nasrallah on Syria: More Equal Than Others? Elias Muhanna on Nasrallah’s comments on the various uprisings, comments that highly differ when it comes to Syria.
Is Syria War Additional Spark To Alevi Protests in Turkey? Cengiz Çandar draws attention to signals that show the Alevis are heading to the streets.
Turkey’s Syria Border on Edge Amberin Zaman shares her impressions from her recent visit to the PYD-controlled town of Ras al-Ain, or Serekaniye in Kurdish.
Syria`s Cost for Turkey İhsan Dağ contends that “the Syria crisis is turning into a nightmare for Turkey.”
Turkey’s Syria Nightmare Goes From Bad to WorseSemih İdiz shares the same opinion as İhsan Dağ and says that the situation went from bad to worse.
The Syrian Quagmire and Erdoğan’s Coalition of the Willing: More Difficult Times Ahead for Turkey-EU relations? Gerben K. Wedekind reveals the implications of the Syrian civil war for Turkey.
Syria: Turkey`s Passive Importance and its Foreign Policy Trauma “Cases like the Syrian one show that Turkey`s importance to the West is a passive, not an active, importance,” argues Gökhan Bacık.
Security at Borders, Democracy Inside Should Be Reinforced Bülent Keneş comments on the shooting down of a Syrian helicopter by Turkish warplanes.
Davutoglu: Shooting Down of Helicopter "Punishment" for Syria In his analysis, Kadri Gürsel underlines Davutoglu’s remark that Turkey was punishing the Syrian helicopter.
Rojava`s Political Structure Writing about Syrian Kurdistan, Amed Dicle says “at present, Rojava is divided into three parts, and intense fighting rages on in areas that cut these three parts off from one another. These areas that sever the connections between the three parts of Rojava are populated mostly by Syrian Arabs—themselves mired in internal power struggles among their ashirat (tribes). Although political authorities in Rojava work in a coordinated framework, the geographical separation remains a very serious issue to tackle in the future.”
Why Iran Seeks Constructive Engagement Hassan Rouhani’s Op-ed in the Washington Post, in which he says “we must work together to end the unhealthy rivalries and interferences that fuel violence and drive us apart.”
Iran nuclear: Obama and Rouhani speak by phone
Who’s Who: Michel Kilo A profile of Michel Kilo, a member of the National Coalition.
Statement of the Revolutionary Left Current in Syria on the events of Raqqa “In the context of widening public awareness of the revolutionary masses there is a need to confront these fascist and reactionary counter-revolutionary groups, as it is necessary to continue the revolution against the oppressive Assad regime.”
Questions Plague UN Report on Syria A piece by Sharmine Narwani and Radwan Mortada
Degrading Discourse Elias Muhanna responds to Narwani and Mortada’s piece writing: “I think they do a worthy job of pointing out the investigators’ indebtedness to rebel-friendly tour guides on the inspection dates (which the report also mentions), but the most potentially damaging element of their piece is the question they raise about where sarin was deployed in the area and the delivery mechanisms used.”
Jihadis grow more dangerous as they conquer hearts in Syria Hassan Hassan says “the study of these groups should start with Abu Musab Al Suri, a Muslim Brotherhood ideologue with global jihadi influence who became notorious after he was implicated in the London bombings in 2005. “
Syria: Raqqa Dance Troupe Branded Apostates Firas al-Hakkar on how a Syrian dance troupe that had to leave Raqqa after receiving threats from Islamist brigades.
Syria’s Good Soldier David Kenner profiles Ali Habib, suggesting he would be a good candidate for a transitional government in Syria.
UAE Brokers US Visa Deal for Syrian Minister “Al-Akhbar has learned that Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem’s bid to obtain a US visa to attend the 68th session of the UN General Assembly was rejected by the US State Department.”
Sleeping with the Enemy: The Global Left and the `No to War` Discourse Khalid Saghieh addresses “the debacle that came to painful light through the positions taken and discussions had by those on the left side of the political spectrum in reaction to the threat of a Western military strike on Syria.”
Defeating the Enemy: A Response to Khalid Saghieh Rami Elamine contends that “his critique seems to rely entirely on the distortions, caricatures, and outright lies of the US media and those pushing for intervention.”
Event: Bassam Haddad on Understanding the Arab Uprisings and Their Aftermath (23 September, Fairfax)
Malaise Over Syria Vijay Prashad writes: “It is from a realization of this impasse that perhaps we see this conclusion: if the rebels are stuck, then the tonic that might work is a US military strike. No one person amongst us likes this, but if we assume that it is the only thing that can break the stalemate, then it seems to be a terrible necessity.”
Retraction and Apology to Our Readers for Mint Press Article on Syria Gas Attack “Mint Press News incorrectly used my byline for an article it published on August 29, 2013 alleging chemical weapons usage by Syrian rebels,” said AP journalist Dale Gavlak.
Yahya Ababneh Exposed Brian Whitaker profiles the man behind the Mint Press News article.
The Syrian resistance: a tale of two struggles, Part 2 Maciej Bartkowski and Mohja Kahf conclude that “civil resistance in Syria, while it dominated, was strategically effective against the Assad regime.”
Opposition to intervention in Syria utilitarian, not ideological Stephen Zunes replies to Nader Hashemi, saying “whether or not a movement is primarily violent or nonviolent, what is important is whether it employs strategies and tactics that can maximize its chances of success.”
A Case Study of “The Syrian Resistance,” A Pro-Assad Militia Force Aymen Jawad al-Tamimi examines a “group called al-Muqāwama as-Sūrīya (“The Syrian Resistance”—TSR), under the leadership of a Turkish-born Alawite by the name of Mihrac Ural, also known as Ali Kayali. (Previous posts on Syria Comment dealing with Ural/Kayali include those found here and here.)”
What happened between the two Al Qaeda affiliates in eastern Syria?Hassan Hassan’s blog presents “a witness account (from Ibrahim Ali Sultan, on Twitter @aboalialsultan) to what happened between the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, and Jabhat al-Nusra in Shadadi city, Hasaka.”
Episode 84- Understanding the Syrian Insurgency with Charles Lister and Aaron Zelin
Raqqa’s FSA Brigades Join Jabhat al-Nusra Alison Tahmizian Meuse says “activists in the northern Syrian city said the local FSA had little choice, outgunned by its hardline rivals and unable to stand up to the brutal tactics of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) on its own.”
Al Qaeda in Syria: We Fought FSA Because It Conspired With John McCain Against Us Hassan Hassan translates a ”letter issued by the Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria ISIS about its battles in Azaz, Aleppo, against the Free Syrian Army`s group, Asifat al Shamal (Northern Storm)”
Syria`s pro-government militias a major boost for Assad`s army Patrick J. McDonnell reports from Damascus.
Saving Syria’s Children A BBC report: “In a special edition, Panorama travels with British doctors inside Syria to exclusively reveal the devastating impact of the war on children caught in the conflict.”
Seven Strange Days With the Young Men of the Syrian Resistance Danny Gold reports from Ras al Ayn
Meet the Syrian Blogger Who`s Staying in His Hometown — No Matter What Big al Brand remains in Homs, and here he exchanged some words with Nour al-Ali.
Talking to Razan Zeitoune Doha Hassan interviews Razan Zeitoune, a Syrian activist who resides in Ghouta
How Syria’s Citizen Journalists Are Developing Their Skills, Ethical Standards
In Damascus, fear has many faces Rana Moussaoui writes: “today, after two and a half years of conflict, Damascus residents are fearful their city will become the next Homs, or a new Aleppo, shattered by violence.”
Demonstrators in Salqeen Give their Views on Military Strike, Political Solution “The Damascus Bureau asked residents of the opposition-controlled town of Salqeen in Idlib province to give their views on American military intervention and how to end the Syrian crisis.”
Where do activists stand between the American strike and the Russian initiative? As Salem Nassif reports, the opinions are many.
Arts and Social Media
The End of Silence in Syria: Interview with Syria Untold An interview with co-founder of the storytelling project Leila Nachawati Rego.
Khartoon: A satirical take on power by Khalid Albaih
First Kurdish Radio Breaks the Sphere of Arabic Hegemony in Syria
INFOGRAPHIE - Syrie : les hommes du président Hollande An infographic about the people close to the French president and their Syria stance.
Si tu ne Vas Pas a Kafranbel, Kafranbel Viendra a Toi Kafranbel resistance will be the theme of an exhibit in France.
Policy and Reports
Islamists, Religion and the Revolution in Syria A 95-page study by Mohammad Abu Rumman
Exclusive: McCain Hires Controversial Syria Analyst Elizabeth O`Bagy
Syria`s Worst Nightmare: Iraq Post-1991 and We`re Heading There A Chatham House piece by Nadim Shehadi
UN: Syrian Refugees in Lebanon to Reach 2.3 Million in 2014
Economy and Agriculture
Syria’s Losses Exceed $350 billion
Paris Lifts Ban on Frozen Regime Funds
Syria’s Other Problem: Inflation A comprehensive overview by Steve H. Hanke
The Cost of Syrian Refugees
Destitution Drives Syrian Refugee Children to Work A report by Lyse Doucet.
اقتصادات تقسيم سورية
Jihad Yazigi on the economy in Syria in the context of the divisions that the country has been witnessing.
انهيار سد الفرات يهدد ثلث مساحة سوريا
Al-Bayan newspaper reports on the threat of the collapse of the Al-Furat Dam in Eastern Syria.
الثورة السورية في 3 دقائق".. رسالة السوريين للعالم"
The people in Kafranbel make a 3-minute-video in response to the international community’s stance towards the murder in Syria.
اتفاق على مشروع قرار وإعلان موعد جنيف غداً .. وتمرّد فصائل مسلحة
Assafir on the international community, the diplomatic solution for Syria, “Geneva 2” and the status of the Syrian National Coaltion.
العلمانيّة والتجديد الدينيّ
Riyadh Derar on Religious reform and secularism.
المشرق... في ظل التسويات الـكبرى
Nahed Hatr provides one take on the geopolitical and strategic dynamics in the Mashreq.
سياسيون وحقوقيون: التلفزيون الرسمي السوري ارتكب جريمة حرب وسيحاسب عليها
Politicians, lawyers, and activists say that the official Syrian television channel has committed a war crime for its broadcasting of the execution of a 16-year-old girl.
في أن تكره إيران
Amer Mohsen on “China bashing” and “Iran bashing” and the sectarian discourse against Iran which is propagated by the official Arab regime.
جنيف ٢" يهزّ الائتلاف"
Omar al-Abdallah on al-Jarba’s agreement to attend “Geneva 2”.
من هي "داعش"؟
Now. on “Daesh” (the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham).
!ما بعد الـحرب على سوريا هو النظام العالمي الـجديد
Ghassan Melhem analyses the current geopolitical context and the future of the region after the “war on Syria”.
حول وطنية هيئة التنسيق وملفات أخرى
Sada Hamza on the international backing-out of the military strike on Syria and the defence of a political solution for the struggle.
سوريا غيّرت المعادلة
Zohair Endraws on the effect of the situation in Syria on politics in the region.
في معنى السلطة بصفتها حرباً على المجتمع
Jad al-Kareem al-Jabaie on the history of the formation of the authoritarian state in Syria and the absence of civil society in the country.
ذكرى «جمول»: المقاومة المشرقية في مخاض الانبثاق
Alaa al-Mawla on the effect of the situation in Syria on the alliances and agreements that have been instilled in the region.
إلى هيئة التنسيق: ما أخبار عبد العزيز الخير؟
Allam Ahmad on the disapearance of Abdel Aziz al-Khayyer.
سوريا غداً... لبنان بصيغة ماضيه
Nasri As-Sayegh compares Syria to the Lebanon scenario.
نقاش في البديهيّات: الحرب والثورة والسّلطة
Ward Kasouha discusses the effect of the armed struggle on the situation in Syria.
الحق في قتل الجسد: الزومبي جسد/نص ما بعد كولونيالي
Abdullah Albayyari theorizes on the right in killing the body.
عندما تضطهد الثورة المضادة الحلقة الأضعف
Mahinor Almasri on the tragedy facing Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Egypt.
أبرز نقاط الاتفاق الروسي ــ الأميركي
A report on the main points of the Russian-US agreement.
شيطان "الفصل السابع" لا يعيق جني ٢ Assafir on Chapter 7, the Syrian National Coalition, Russia, and the West.
برنامج لعبة الأمم: أزمة الكيميائي السوري.. العدوان المؤجل والحرب السياسية- قناة الميادين ١١ /٩ /٢٠١٣
Haytham Mannaa in an interview on chemical weapons, the delayed offensive and the political war on Syria.
تقارير خاصة :: قصة هروب خمسة معتقلين من فرع المخابرات الجوية في حرستا
Press release about a report entitled “Fleeing from Hell” based on the testimonies of 50 political prisoners who fled from a prison in Harasta.
Abdel Aziz Al Khayyer عبد العزيز الخير
A video commemorating a year on the imprisonment of Abdel Aziz Al-Khayyer
حول قوى الثورة المضادة الرجعية في الثورة السورية
Ghayath Naisse on the forces of the counterrevolution in the Syrian revolution.
النضال ضد الإمبريالية والحرب
A translated article by Tony Cliff on the fight against imperialism and war.
بعد المبادرة السورية: إلى أين نتجه؟
Haytham Mannaa writes for the French communist party newspaper “L’humanite” about the Syrian National Coordinating Body and the situation in Syria.
الرابحون والخاسرون في الاتفاق الروسي ـ الأميركي
Mosatafa Al-Labbad on the Russian-American agreement and its implications.
برنار هنري ليفـي وشركـــاؤه الـعـــرب
Nasri As-Sayegh on Bernard Henri Levy and his “Arab partners”
هكذا اجتاحت "الوهابية" سوريا بفضل نظام الأسد
Saud Qubaylat on his visit to Syria the Asad regime’s facilitation for Wahhabi Jihadist to come into Syria.
بروباغندا تصويبية: «الميادين» مثالاً
Feras Khouri on propaganda and the media.
عن الحرب العنصرية على غرب كردستان
Sherazad Adel al-Yazidi on the racist war on Western Kurdistan.
«بين الطبقة العاملة و... «اليسار